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Looney Tunes #142

Posted: Saturday, September 9, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"Soccer Blocker"

Writer: Sam Agro
Artists: David Alvarez(p), Mike DeCarlo(i), David Tanguay(c)

"Sea Schtick"

Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artists: Leo Batic(p), Horacio Ottolini(i), David Tanguay(c)
Publisher: DC

"My Own Worst Enemy"

Writer: Frank Strom
Artists: Walter Carzon(p), Mike DeCarlo(i), David Tanguay(c)
Publisher: DC

Jackpot. What we have here is a masterpiece of Looney Tunes. First, two out of the three stories star Bugs Bunny, and second one of those two tales also features Daffy Duck. All three of the stories offer the reader laughs, intelligence and originality. This issue of the comic book is a Warner Brothers cartoon fan's heaven.

"Soccer Blocker" first surprises by not really being about soccer. The game is merely a lure baited by the Lunacy of Doom on the cover. Fans need not fret. Though the Dracula observing the crystal ball looks nothing like the vampire with which we are familiar, writer Sam Argo and artists Alvarez, DeCarlo and Tanguay dial up "Transylvania 6-5000" for their inspiration. The rest of the Legion consist of the Vincent Price version of the Mad Scientist, his pet Gossamer and of course Witch Hazel.

Bugs naturally falls for the promise of soccer, and he defeats the baddies' opening ghoulish shenanigans by the threatening to call for a lawyer--one wonders if Bugs has the number of Wolff & Byrd in his Roladex. Bugs forces the monstrous mooks to actually hold the soccer tournament. Let the games begin.

Argo makes Bugs' tournament one of psychology. He outwits and defeats his foes though their inherent weaknesses and scores while he does so. The short story eschews violent slapstick, but despite that, it still adheres to Bugs' characterization and the humorous angular visuals provided by Alvarez and DeCarlo. Their depiction of Bugs' many disguises as well as a very unhappy uvula are enough to make one giggle like mad, but the artists also make each goal scored a hilarious dainty delight in understatement contrasted by Bugs' victory cry.

Sholly Fisch in "Sea Schtick" takes Bugs and Daffy on the ultimate mistaken road trip. Fisch hooks the reader with his ambivalence toward Bugs' and Daffy's loose continuity. The actual cartoons have in passing mentioned other moments, and Fisch uses the history shared between the characters to bring a more resonant laugh to the surface.

While most fans will naturally assume the continuation of the Daffy and Bugs rivalry, Fisch makes the witty and fresh move of portraying Bugs and Daffy as good friends. Bugs and Daffy do not fight each other. Rather they pool their resources to combat a familiar foe, wearing yet another alliterative sobriquet. Believe it or not, despite swimming in the face of tradition, Fish still makes their pairing strong and sidesplitting.

Leo Batic's and Horacio Ottolini's artwork aid in characterizing Bugs and Daffy as professionals. The sly eye-lid work clue the reader into their intelligence, and their imagination and fluency with pop culture keeps Fisch's story afloat.

The final story stars Foghorn Leghorn. Frank Strom brings to this tale Robert McKimson's sheer oddness while allowing Walter Carzon and Ruben Torreiro to work in classic slapstick involving Foggy's nemesis the Dawg. This issue of Looney Tunes brings back colorist David Tanguay. His shades are in perfect synchrony, and they enliven the characters and the art. This is a perfect issue of Looney Tunes.



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